Introduction: Exotic Annual Bromus in the Western USA

  • Matthew J. GerminoEmail author
  • Jeanne C. Chambers
  • Cynthia S. Brown
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)


The spread and impacts of exotic species are unambiguous, global threats to many ecosystems. A prominent example is the suite of annual grasses in the Bromus genus (Bromus hereafter) that originate from Europe and Eurasia but have invaded or are invading large areas of the Western USA. This book brings a diverse, multidisciplinary group of authors together to synthesize current knowledge, research needs, and management implications for Bromus. Exotic plant invasions are multifaceted problems, and understanding and managing them requires the biological, ecological, sociological, and economic perspectives that are integrated in this book. Knowing how well information from one geographic or environmental setting can transfer to another is a key need for broadly distributed Bromus species especially given ongoing climate change. Thus, the chapters in the book compare and contrast invasibility of different ecoregions and invasiveness of different Bromus species. A universal theme is managing for ecosystems that are resilient to disturbance and resistant to invasion which will be essential for adaptation to the human-caused problem of Bromus in the Western USA.


Resistance Resilience Exotic annual Bromus grasses Western USA 



Jessica Vander Veen provided invaluable assistance in preparing the manuscript for submission. Sue Phillips provided comments on many chapters. Funding was provided by USDA REENet Grant #03083. Plant taxonomy follows the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, PLANTS Database ( in all but Chap.  6 which uses a broader range of sources. Any use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.


  1. Billings WD (1990) Bromus tectorum, a biotic cause of ecosystem impoverishment in the Great Basin. The Earth in Transition. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, pp 301–322Google Scholar
  2. Briske DD, Bestelmeyer BT, Stringham TK et al (2008) Recommendations for development of resilience-based state-and-transition models. Rangel Ecol Manag 61:359–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caudle D, DiBenedetto J, Karl M et al (2013) Interagency ecological site handbook for rangelands. Accessed 2 Jun 2015
  4. Chambers JC, Bradley BA, Brown CS et al (2014) Resilience to stress and disturbance, and resistance to Bromus tectorum L. invasion in cold desert shrublands of western North America. Ecosystems 17:360–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chapin FS III, Torn SE, Tateno M (1996) Principles of ecosystem sustainability. Am Nat 148:1016–1037Google Scholar
  6. D’Antonio CM, Thomsen M (2004) Ecological resistance in theory and practice. Weed Technol 18:1572–1577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. D’Antonio CM, Vitousek PM (1992) Biological invasions by exotic annual grasses, the grass/fire cycle, and global change. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 23:63–87Google Scholar
  8. Folke C, Carpenter S, Walker B et al (2004) Regime shifts, resilience, and biodiversity in ecosystem management. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 35:557–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gulmon SL (1977) A comparative study of the grassland of California and Chile. Flora 166:261–278Google Scholar
  10. Holling CS (1973) Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 4:1–2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mack RN (1981) Invasion of Bromus tectorum L. into Western North America: an ecological chronicle. Agro-Ecosystems 7:145–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Rossiter NA, Setterfield SA, Douglas MM et al (2003) Testing the grass–fire cycle: alien grass invasion in the tropical savannas of northern Australia. Divers Distrib 9:169–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Walker BH, Holling CS, Carpenter SR et al (2004) Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social-ecological systems. Ecol Soc 9:5Google Scholar
  14. Wilcox BP, Turnbull L, Young MH et al (2012) Invasion of shrublands by exotic grasses: ecohydrological consequences in cold versus warm deserts. Ecohydrology 5:160–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. Germino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeanne C. Chambers
    • 2
  • Cynthia S. Brown
    • 3
  1. 1.US Geological SurveyForest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science CenterBoiseUSA
  2. 2.USDA Forest ServiceRocky Mountain Research StationRenoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest ManagementColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

Personalised recommendations